A pastor, who was trained in trauma and grief counseling, commented that the greatest challenge for people who are hurting is often not the immediate heartache of the loss. Instead, the biggest problem is adjusting to the different kind of life that follows. What once was normal may never be normal again. So the challenge for those offering help is to assist the sufferers as they establish the “new normal.”
It may be a "new normal" that no longer includes robust health, a treasured relationship, or a satisfying job. Or it may be living without a loved one who has been taken in death. The gravity of such losses forces us to live a different kind of life—no matter how unwelcome it may be.
When our “new normal” comes, it’s easy to think no one understands how we feel. But that isn’t true. Part of the reason Jesus came was to experience life among us, resulting in His present ministry: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). And while He did not suffer the exact same difficulties, such as divorce, the loss of His mother, etc., He did suffer much greater than any of us do in that He suffered being contaminated by our sin, separation from the Father, and the loss of nearly the entire human race He created! Our Savior lived a perfect life, yet He also knew the pains of a broken world. He endured sorrow; He suffered agony. And He stands ready to encourage us when the dark moments of life force us to embrace a new normal.
Father, thank You that in the darkest seasons of life, You will never abandon us. Guide us with Your never-failing presence through both the welcome and unwelcome changes of life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In our desert of grief, Jesus can provide an oasis of hope.